Julie Strenn has been appointed President/CEO of ODC by the ODC Board of Directors, effective January 1, 2021.
Julie’s appointment is part of a two-year executive transition plan, as Pam Ross, previous ODC President/CEO will assume a part-time advisory role to continue to support this transition until her retirement in 2022.
Board of Directors President Nan Taylor said, “On behalf of the ODC Board of Directors, I am excited to welcome Julie to her new role as ODC President/CEO. Julie joins ODC with a wealth of knowledge and experience and will lead us in continuing the ODC mission of empowering people with disabilities to achieve their life and work goals. Julie possesses many of the qualities we felt were imperative to the continued growth of ODC - strategic thinking, innovation and action.”
Julie joined ODC in December 2019 as Executive Vice President. Prior to that, she provided consulting services to ODC from 2015 through 2019. Julie has more than 25 years of experience in long-term care, having worked for provider agencies, managed care organizations, and state and local government agencies including the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, Inclusa (formerly Community Care of Central Wisconsin), and Wood County. From 2012 through 2019, Julie owned a consulting business through which she worked with service providers, funders, and multiple state governments in transforming the long-term care system to focus on community employment and community living for people with disabilities.
“I’ve known Julie for over 10 years through other agencies, she’s a great lady, I’m very happy for her! Not that I want Pam to leave”, ODC participant Amanda says with a smile. “I do think it is a great thing for ODC, she’ll continue to bring good opportunities here.”
This past year Julie oversaw all of ODC’s programs and services and became involved in all facets of ODC administration, fund development, social enterprise and governance. During the COVID – 19 pandemic Julie’s exceptional leadership and vision were evident as ODC quickly adapted and provided new and innovative approaches to services, not only continuing to support current individuals but also expanding to include Virtual Services, Children’s Long-Term Support Services and Daily Living Skills Training.
“I have had the great opportunity to work closely with Julie over the last decade. As I reflect back there are many examples and situations that highlight Julie’s ability to lead diverse groups to achieving great outcomes,” said Kris Kubnick, Chief Member Experience Officer at Inclusa, Inc. “But it is her steadfast commitment to taking a collaborative approach to breaking down barriers so that individuals can dream big and chase those dreams that stand out the most. Julie has had a significant impact on many and I believe is a perfect fit to support ODC’s continued impact on our communities.”
Pam states, “Julie has already demonstrated that she is an incredible leader. She is innovative, energetic, and inspires our ODC team to be its very best. Most important, there is no doubt that she truly cares about the people that ODC supports. ODC is in great hands under her leadership.”
Julie reflects, “I could have never predicted 2020. When I joined ODC I knew that it was an amazing organization with dedicated and passionate people, however the challenges of 2020 proved to me that I am in the perfect place, working along side the most talented and caring people. When challenges and diversity struck in 2020 we did what we always do, put others first, assuring that every person had the supports needed to live their best life, saying ‘yes we will help’ to anyone asking, and most importantly we did it together as one team. I am so honored to be able to lead this organization.”
Julie resides in Arpin (Powers Bluff) with her husband Rob and son Ethan. Rob works at the Research Center at the Marshfield Clinic in Information Technology and Ethan is a junior at Pittsville High School. Julie’s daughter Bethany currently attends UW Oshkosh pursuing a degree in Anthropology. You can find Julie cooking Thanksgiving meals at Crossroads Church, or volunteering at the Pittsville Schools. Julie is also one of the youth group leaders at Crossroads church. Julie currently serves on both the Wispact and Arrowhead Bible Camp board of directors.
*** Opportunity Development Centers, Inc. (ODC) is a private, not-for-profit agency whose mission is to empower people with disabilities to achieve their work and life goals. ODC was founded in 1965 and serves individuals in Central and North Central Wisconsin. In 2019, ODC provided services to more than 900 individuals. ODC has physical locations in Wisconsin Rapids, Stevens Point, Plover, and Marshfield, and provides services in ten counties.***